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Executive function deficit and disability in unipolar major depression: The transient, the stable, and the importance of emotional control

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Title: Executive function deficit and disability in unipolar major depression: The transient, the stable, and the importance of emotional control
Author(s): Murdock, Christina D.
Advisor(s): Heller, Wendy; Miller, Gregory A.
Department / Program: Psychology
Discipline: Psychology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.A.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): depression executive function impairment deficit disability
Abstract: Executive function impairments associated with unipolar depression contribute heavily to the individual and societal costs of this disorder. Unfortunately, past research on executive function deficits in unipolar depression has not succeeded in providing much detail about the nature of these deficits. Most researchers have used univariate methods to attempt to discern unique patterns of executive function deficits that characterize unipolar depression. To enhance specificity of prediction, the present study used Descriptive Discriminant Analysis, along with an ecologically valid measure of executive function, to reveal a pattern of executive function impairments specifically associated with unipolar depression, including impairments in emotional control, shifting, and planning and organizing. Though each of these deficits predicted current disability, only deficits in emotional control did so after accounting for current depressive and anxious symptoms. Regression analyses also revealed complex relationships between symptoms and executive function deficits in each of three clinical groups (currently depressed, previously depressed, and currently anxious), indicating that although some executive function deficits may resolve as symptoms abate, emotional control may be a more stable predictor of general affective psychopathology (e.g., both anxiety and depression).
Issue Date: 2011-01-14
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/18301
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Christina D. Murdock
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-01-14
Date Deposited: December 2
 

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